Snapping it all up

So we have come to the end of our first week in Ghana! It’s been a heck of a week…from schools to football matches to visiting sacred crocodiles! We’re loving the challenges and opportunities of this overseas experience!

Amy, Emma and Christine about to meet the crocs

On Saturday afternoon, we went to watch local children play football on a full size pitch outside Bolgatanga Cathedral. The crowd of children were quite nervous speaking to us at first, but once they got used to our presence, there was no stopping the conversation flowing!

What we did learn was that football really unites the children of Bolgatanga. Elizabeth, who cooks for the Sisters, arranged for her son to take us to the match. Amos, 13, loves attending the football to support his 9 year old brother Pius, who is a key player in the team.

The girls surrounded by the local footballers

The girls surrounded by the local footballers

On Sunday morning, we were up bright and early and in Church by 6am waiting for Mass to begin. The wait was definitely worth it when in walked a huge Gospel Choir!

There were over a thousand people at Mass. The Priest had 20 altar servers with him! What made our morning though, was when one of the young altar servers, Gabriel, recognised us from watching the football the previous day and ran up to us to greet us.

Mass was a wonderful experience with singing and dancing for 2 whole hours. At the end of Mass, Father invited Sister Eunice and the four of us to come up to the sanctuary and introduce ourselves to the whole congregation…that’s 1,000 people staring at us! It was daunting, but we got a wonderful Bolgatanga welcome from everyone. It’s amazing how just knowing a little of the local language is so well received!

After mass with Brother Joe and Sr Eunice

Once Mass had finished, we were invited to attend and participate in Sunday school with Sister Angela. The children don’t go to Mass with the adults, they have their own separate service, and over 300 children attended.

We got a warm welcome from the children who were fascinated to see us celebrating the service with them. The children gathered around us at the end and just wanted to chat with us forever, which we all loved.

The Sunday school with Sr Angela

After a hectic morning, we were lucky enough to have an afternoon off and spend time with Sister Eunice. It was a brilliant afternoon.

She showed us the culture of Ghana. She drove us to Paga where there is a lake of crocodiles. The crocodiles are sacred to the area, as tradition has it that they once showed a Chief where there was available water during a dry season. Don’t worry though…the crocodiles were used to humans, so none of us were bitten!

We went onto Pikworo, a former Slave Camp, where Aaron our guide, told us the history of slavery in the area. It was quite a moving experience, when you think that Ghana’s historical path started at these slave camps.

At one of the slave watch towers

We popped in, on our way home, to visit the Presentation Brothers, Edwin and Valerus, who are friends of the SHCJs. They welcomed us with a cup of tea and some biscuits. This was a lovely end to our first week in Ghana.

Here we are with Sr Eunice and the Presentation Brothers at Nevrongo: Bros Valerus & Edwin

Lots of love

Emma and crew (Patters, Chris & Amen) xxxxxxxxxxxx

Emma's tommy k!!

7 thoughts on “Snapping it all up

  1. Everyone is so interested in your activities. You all look so well.

    Sunday Morning Mass must have been a great experience,

    Lots of love and God Bless you all

    Patrick’s Mum xxxxx

  2. WOW! It all sounds amazing – thinking of you all out there and you’re in all our prayers. What a life changing experience – God bless you all – you’re wonderful!! How cute must the kids be!! And the crocodile?!

    Loads of love, Gemma Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Thanks for all the good news from Ghana. I was in Accra, Cape Coast and Takoradi in 2000, but never got as far north as Bolgatanga. I remember the fresh oranges and fresh pineapple! We have so much enjoyed your accounts and photos. When I was there it was Harmatan, that dust that comes each year from the Sahara. But it looks as if you are having lovely sunshine.
    Please greet the sisters for me as I am a Holy Child sister and though we may never have met, we are very united across our three provinces. God bless, with my prayer for you all each day, Philomena Grimley SHCJ

  4. Yo to Patrick and the girls. Pat any chance you are likely to get a game of golf whilst you are over there? Mind you I wouldn’t fancy the water hazards with those crocodiles. On second thoughts stick to the football!
    All the best for the second week
    from Greg & Rose

  5. Hi there, this is a message from pupils at St Francis of Assisi School in Aldridge where Christine’s sister Emily is a pupil. I showed the form group your blog today and they were all very interested in what you are doing. Our message is “Enjoy the experience and keep posting blogs so that we can see how you are getting on. The photos really help to see what you are doing and we will look out for more news from you all.”
    Best wishes
    Mrs Tremayne
    St Francis School

    • Hello St Francis of Assisi School in Aldridge!
      So pleased you’re following Christine’s trip and enjoying learning about life in Ghana. Schools there sound very diiferent to ours don’t they? You’ll have to invite Christine to come into school and then you can ask her all about it. Keeping an eye on the blog – I’m sure there’ll be more to come : )

    • Hi Mrs Tremayne & folks at St Francis. I had no idea that you were following our trip- it’s a real encouragement to hear how interested you are in the stories we’ve been sharing (and I hope the experience hasn’t been too embarassing for Em!).
      I hear the story about the school with no computers having to teach compulsory IT really caused a stir with you all, and would be very happy to give you some more information (or come in at some point???) if you want. I’m sure Emily can put us in contact!

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